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How To Turn A Person In Bed


Turn a person at least every 2 hours if he is unable to move on his own. This will help prevent pressure sores, blood clots, and breathing problems, such as pneumonia. Turning a person also helps improve his comfort in bed.


What you need to know before you turn someone:

  • Use good body mechanics to avoid an injury. Ask for help to turn the person. Adjust the bed to your waist height. If possible, the head of the bed should be flat.

  • Keep the person's head, torso, and legs in line when you move him. The person's body should stay straight during the turn.

  • Gather plenty of pillows. Pillows can be used behind the person and between his knees for comfort and support.

  • Use an extra sheet folded in half to help make turns easier. This sheet should be under the person and can help turn or move him in bed. The sheet should go from his shoulders to his knees.

  • Do not drag or pull the person because doing so can tear or break his skin. This can lead to pressure ulcers.

  • Move any tubes or medical devices before you turn the person.

How to turn a person in bed:

  • Cross the person's arms over his chest so they do not get trapped under his body during the turn.

  • Stand at the side of the bed, lower the bed rail, and face the person. Put a pillow between the person's knees.

  • If possible, ask the person to grab the opposite bed rail to help pull himself onto his side.

  • Roll the edge of the sheet on your side and grab it. Pull the sheet up so the person slowly rolls from his back to his side.

  • Place pillows behind the person's back and buttocks to help keep him on his side comfortably.

  • Smooth out the sheets so they are not wrinkled and pull the bed rail up so it locks in place.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.